Helena, MT  – If you’re walking in downtown Helena or driving down Broadway, you’ll notice signs on buildings advertising local businesses.

“People had to figure out a way to advertise their wares and businesses.” Said Ellen Baumler, Interpretive Historian/Sign Program Coordinator.

Having a prime location in downtown Helena you were bound to look up and see a sign like “Eddy’s Bread  Good to Eat”.

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“This was before you had those neon signs and it was really the only way that people had to advertise on their buildings.”

As years went on with the harsh winters and pouring rain, these signs began to fade and gain the name “ghost signs”.

“The idea of being a ghost is because you know it’s very difficult to read.”

Much like the ghost signs, most of the businesses such as “Pamquist Electronic Company” faded away over time. But because they used lead paint in the signs, their mark can be still seen today.

However there is one sign in downtown Helena that still retains it’s look. You can almost smell the fresh baked bread.

“Actually it was kind of repainted to look like it was brand new.”


Reporting in Helena Matt Witkos MTN News.